Trends in the data: A majority of the population of Georgia now uses the internet
Internet use is on the rise worldwide, and while internet penetration is increasing the world over, in some countries still relatively small shares of the population use it. While only about a third of the population of Georgia reported using the internet at least occasionally in 2009, today, slightly over half of the population is online. This blog post looks at the trends in internet usage in Georgia from 2009 to 2015 by age and settlement type, using the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey (CB) data.
Until 2012, a larger share of the population had reported never using the internet or not knowing what it was than reported using it. In 2013, roughly equal shares reported using and not using the internet. On CB 2015, a majority (57%) of the population of Georgia reported using the internet at least occasionally.
Throughout this period, as one might expect, a larger share of the younger generation has used the internet than the older generation, with 87% of 18-35 year olds reporting using the internet at least occasionally in 2015, compared to only 19% of people aged 56 and older. Interestingly, the largest increase is among those between the ages of 36 and 55, with only 24% of this age group using the internet in 2009 compared with 63% in 2015.
As is well known, internet usage is lowest in Georgia’s rural settlements. In 2015, slightly less than half of the rural population (43%) reported using the internet. In contrast, roughly seven in ten residents of urban settlements use the internet. Urban settlements outside the capital have seen the largest increase in internet use between 2009 and 2015, with the share of internet users increasing more than 2.5 times in this period, while the share of internet users has more than doubled in rural settlements.
Currently, a majority of the population of Georgia use the internet at least occasionally. As one might expect, more young people use the internet than older people, and they use it more frequently. While slightly less than half of the rural population uses the internet, this share is steadily increasing. If this growth continues, a majority of the rural population of the country will soon be online as well.
To explore the data yourself, try our online data analysis tool.
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the second blog post in the series. Click here to see the first blog post.]